Thursday, January 21, 2010

Solid effort, same result

  • How tough is it for the Kelowna Rockets to pick up a win these days? Not even rally caps, or in this case helmets on backwards, were enough Wednesday night in a 2-1 shootout loss to the visiting Chilliwack Bruins. After settling nothing in overtime, everyone on the Rockets bench outside of backup goaltender Mark Guggenberger had their helmets on backwards as they watched the Bruins earn a 2-1 win. The rally helmets didn't work as the teams losing streak was extended to seven (0-5-0-2) games.
  • The Rockets inability to finish on several quality chances and the play of Bruins goaltender Lucas Gore were the story in this game. Gore made 38 stops, none better than a sprawling save off of Rockets forward Brett Bulmer at the side of the net with time ticking down in the 3rd period.
  • For the third straight game Rockets rookie forward Cody Chikie opened up the scoring. What can you say about the 18 year-old forward who made the team on a tryout. Chikie has 15 goals, tied with injured forward Geordie Wudrick for the second most goals scored on the team. He would be a shoe in as the teams rookie of the year if not for a sensational season from a 16 year-old kid from California. Only Shane McColgan has more goals with 18.
  • Adam Brown deserves credit for a solid effort in goal. While he didn't see the number of quality shots that Gore did, a nice glove hand save off of Bruins defencemen Matt Delahey in the second period showed that Brown would be tough to beat. The only goal the 18 year-old would allow was a seeing-eye power play goal from defencemen Brandon Manning in the second frame.
  • This game was full of surprises, including a fight between Rockets pest Mitchell Callahan and Bruins rookie Zach Habscheid. A miss match on paper, Habscheid surprised many - Callahan included - with two solid right hands that stunned Callahan. It just goes to show that in a fight anything can happen. Just ask former Boston Bruin Gord Kluzak when he fought then Hartford Whalers forward Kevin Dineen years ago. That NHL fight saw Dineen flatten Kluzak with a right hand bomb. That tilt will forever be in my head.
  • This game featured as many fights as goals. The fight card included Bloodoff vs. Neigum, Habscheid vs. Callahan and Jobke vs. Stahl.
  • The Rockets had to be shaking their heads heading into the third period. Here they had out-shot the Bruins 17-6 in the second frame yet the Bruins were the lone team to score.
  • Despite the shootout loss, the Rockets have failed to lose to the Bruins in regulation time this season. Overall the Rockets are 5-0-1-1 in seven meetings.
  • Happy birthday to Rockets VP of Business Development Gavin Hamilton. Hamilton turned the ripe old, I mean young age of 50 on Wednesday.


Ryan said...

who the heck picks the 3 stars? Callahan gets a star? For what? Getting beat up yet again and going through the motions like he has all season. There has been no spark, no energy and no leadership all seasob by Mitch. Anyone who says they are happy with his game is looking through McGarva-Colored glasses.

fan said...

bottom line Regan Brown didn't have his stick on the ice for the last goal. a bad habit of his

Gord McGarva said...

Thought I would jump in and answer your questions.

“who the heck picks the 3 stars?”
The three stars are picked by the media in attendance.

“Callahan gets a star?”
Yes Callahan did get a star.

“For what?”
I thought Mitchell did a good job on the fore-check and had some chances to score. Mitchell was physical at times and willing to drop the gloves with Habscheid. Callahan also played well in his own zone. 1st star? Perhaps this may explain. With about 5 minutes remaining in the third period we are given our three star selections. My picks at that time were Callahan, Manning, and Gore. In the building the three stars were Callahan, Gore and Manning. On further review I probably would have given Gore 1st star. The Rockets outshot the Bruins and had a greater percentage of the play (my estimation) but yet only got one star. It was a good team effort by the Rockets but not enough to get the two points. A few bounces it could have been a different outcome.

It was a good fight between Callahan and Habscheid. The decision goes to Habscheid and if you were at the game you would have seen the long conversation Callahan had with the linesman (Hull #49) at the start of the third period. Hull was late to jump in and tie up Habscheid and Linesman Liefke #138 may have prevented Callahan from swinging at Habscheid at the end of the fight. Linesman Hull #49 was in late thus allowing Habscheid an extra punch at the end. The video on this shows a replay from the ice level camera. The linesmen have a tough job and they make mistakes as well, but their mistakes can result in injury. Fortunately nobody was injured. Most nights the linesmen do a great job.

“Anyone who says they are happy with his game is looking through McGarva-Colored glasses”

I would say I was pleased with the effort, but not with the result. The Rockets needed the two points but unfortunately only got one.

Ryan it is easy to hid behind a name and make comments. I checked your profile on Regan’s Blog and all you have is a name. I have noticed most of your posts are of the negative variety. I will remind you again these are young men playing hard 72 nights a year plus playoffs for little money. They play for the love of the game and the chance to further their careers. Ask the Detroit Red Wings why they selected Mitchell Callahan in the 6th round of the NHL draft. Are you now going to question that organization? I give Mitchell all the credit for what he does as a hockey player; a willingness to take on any opponent, go hard to the net and take the punishment, battle in the corners and along the wall and stick up for his team mates. Mitchell only made the Rockets because of his play at training camp last summer (2008); he was never drafted and has been a great addition for the Rockets. Callahan is a heart and soul player, similar to Ryan Cuthbert. Will Mitchell develop into a top class WHL player like Cuthbert did, that remains to be seen, but Mitchell is on his way. If there is one thing Callahan never does, and quote you “going through the motions like he has all season”. Mitchell Callahan shows up every night and plays hard.

You may think I have rose coloured glass and this may be true to a small extent, but who am I to be overly critical of a team of young men that bring so much excitement and enjoyment to a city and their fans for playing the game of hockey.

I enjoy what I do as the colour analyst and one of things I am most grateful for is that I can look each player in the eye and not have to worry about what they think because I have trashed them on the radio. I have respect for the players and will continue to look at the positive side more often than not.

jack said...

I think Mitch had a great game. in fact i think he could have been a star in the last three games. for a late round pick he has been playing very good and no my glasses are not foggy.that might have been the only fight hes lost all year.What do you think Regan?

Jared Comeau said...

And whoever says he's not playing well is named Ryan........

g.k said...

I have to agree with Ryan, we all commented last night that Callahan is a third line player at best, but gets on the first line anyways, I hope when Wudrick gets back he will be on that line instead. Mitch hasn't been the same since Gogel was traded, that being said neither has the rest of the team. Gogel was at least a physical presence on the ice if nothing else.

acco said...

I don't know what you're smoking Ryan. Nobody wins every fight. Callahan has a huge of heart. I'll bet every GM in the whl would love to have this guy on their roster. As for going through the motions? So far this year Callahan is .73 ppg, 114 PIM and is a plus 1 on a team that is 6 games below 500. And also, lay off McGarva. This is is his rookie year ;)

jack said...

hope the refs do a better job tommorrow night. last night was brutal. what a gong show!!

Ryan said...

Exactly my problem with you Gord. A color guy refusing to be critical because the young men bring happiness to our city. Maybe look at the job requirements. Listening to you gives zero sense of the reality of the game.

Regan Bartel said...

Ryan, I have heard many good comments from listeners about Gord's efforts on the air. While vocal, you are in the minority. I don't think you will hear many critical words coming out of a broadcasters mouth at the NHL or WHL level that have an affiliation with the team. I can tell you first hand that John Shorthouse and others like him who broadcast Canucks games receive a wrap on the knuckles if they are over critical of what the home team is doing. What Gord brings to the broadcast is his love for the game and his love for the Rockets.

Jared Comeau said...

For what it's worth Gord, You are 1 million times the color guy we used to have in that Snow character. I am convinced that Ryan is not a Rockets fan at all. If I am thinking of the same guy, this is the guy who does the Music at the Westside Warriors games and rarely comes to a Rockets game. Ryan, I would suggest you clean up your act before Regan tosses you off this forum for good like he did KBF, and TBH, more power to him.

In a time of not much positivity, i come to read Regan's blog to read some positive stuff regarding the Rockets, and I think I speak for all Rockets fans who read this forum. Shut up, or get out, or even better, Regan, by all means, you've done it with other readers before, just Ban this dummy.

Ryan said...

Regan, dont get me wrong. I think Gord is the best color guy you have had. Do we need to mention Roger Snow? My point was that being critical, aka HONEST is fine, acceptable and appreciated. Not being willing to do that is an insult to fans. You think Mitch Callahan would accept the fact he has struggled at times? Of course he would, yet when you listen to some games and watch them either online or with a headset, you would think the Rockets are losing because of bad luck or bad reffing. Fact is guys stink some nights, shifts, and so on and its ok to mention it, even the Big Old Boss would be okay with that. Its a problem when you guys go nuts if we win a fight yet act like it didnt even take place if we kick hammered.

I actually think Gord's sense of humor is a welcomed addition and sometimes goes over your head.